Album Review – Argesh / Excommunica (2021)

Behold 31 minutes of the most solemn, majestic and uncompromising kind of Black Metal you can think of in the form of the debut album by an unrelenting horde from Italy.

3.5rating

argesh-excommunica-2021We live in a world corrupted by moral dogmas which, unconsciously, influence and create the rotten society in which we find ourselves, a vicious circle of self-destruction and self-castration. Fortunately for all of us metalheads, Varese, Italy-based Black Metal entity Argesh stands against all that, bringing forth now in 2021 their debut full-length opus entitled Excommunica, a stunning display of “Apostate Black Metal” blasted by HHG on the guitars, drums and voice reinforcements, Il Rakshasa on the guitars, and Azghal on bass and orchestrations. Recorded at Downstreet Studios, mixed and engineered by Simone Marzullo (also known as HHG) and Nicolò Paracchini (also known as Azghal), and mastered at Wavemotion Recordings by Federico Ascari, not to mention the more-than-special guests Michele Spallieri (Kenos), Lucifero Fieri (Tregenda), Vama Marga (Depths Above, Bhagavat), Chainerdog (Grendel) and Matteo Gresele (Ad Nauseam), Excommunica is a must-listen for fans of bands the likes of Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir and Deathspell Omega, bringing to our ears 31 minutes of the most solemn, majestic and uncompromising kind of Black Metal.

The opening track, titled Abiura, works as a tribal intro that will put you in a trance, with the guest vocals by Vama Marga making things even more tenebrous and flowing into the visceral Suffocate in Oxygen, a fulminating aria of extreme music where guest Michele Spallieri’s vocals are nicely complemented by the celestial voice of Lucifero Fieri, while HHG, Il Rakshasa and Azghal generate a pulverizing wall of sounds. Put differently, this is what I call a bestial display of Blackened Death Metal by such talented horde, and HHG and Il Rakshasa continue to extract sheer malignancy from their guitars in Source of Miracles accompanied by the thunderous bass by Azghal, while Michele keeps growling like a demonic entity and also featuring a kick-ass guitar solo by guest Matteo Gresele.

And HHG once again sounds infernal with his blast beats in the beyond fantastic Praelatorum Pedophilia, another austere, sulfurous creation by the trio showcasing slashing riffs and rumbling bass lines, therefore living up to the legacy of both old school and modern-day Black Metal; whereas in Apocalypse 20.7-8-9 a Cradle of Filth-inspired ambience becomes even more imposing thanks to the amazing job done by HHG on drums and all background orchestrations by Azghal. Furthermore, Michele proves once again why he was chosen to record most of the vocals for the album with his vicious roars adding an extra touch of evil to the overall result. And last but not least, closing the album we’re treated to the multi-layered, bold and Stygian tune The Elohim’s Mark, featuring guest vocals and guitar solo by Chainerdog, and reminding me of some of the best creations by Dimmu Borgir. Needless to say, HHG and Il Rakshasa are relentless with their wicked riffage, ending the album on a truly sulfurous note for our total delight.

argesh-2021“Excommunica wants to point out how much can be spiritually self-sabotaging being born and grown in a religious context bare of awareness and consciousness. Its concept is based on disrupting these restrictions in order to find the human need to evolve and become something different from the herd, expressing the harsh hate against the hypocrisy which this moral society proves to be with its values. We’re all suffocating in this oxygen ruled by corrupted divine idols,” commented this talented Italian horde about their newborn spawn, and if you want to show them your utmost support and admiration you can start following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and of course purchase Excommunica from their own BandCamp page, letting the world we live in rot in chaos and darkness while you enjoy their undisputed Black Metal.

Best moments of the album: Praelatorum Pedophilia and Apocalypse 20.7-8-9.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Nero Corvino Records/Sepulchral Silence Digital Music Distribution

Track listing 
1. Abiura 2:11
2. Suffocate in Oxygen 4:04
3. Source of Miracles 6:30
4. Praelatorum Pedophilia 5:51
5. Apocalypse 20.7-8-9 5:05
6. The Elohim’s Mark 7:13

Band members
HHG – guitars, drums, voice reinforcements
Il Rakshasa – guitars
Azghal – bass, orchestrations

Guest musicians
Michele Spallieri – vocals on “Suffocate in Oxygen”, “Source of Miracles”, “Praelatorum Pedophilia” and “Apocalypse 20.7-8-9”
Lucifero Fieri – celestial vocals on “Suffocate in Oxygen” and “The Elohim’s Mark”
Vama Marga – vocals on “Abiura” and “Apocalypse 20.7-8-9”
Chainerdog – vocals on “Suffocate in Oxygen” and “The Elohim’s Mark”, guitar solo on “The Elohim’s Mark”
Matteo Gresele – guitar solo on “Source of Miracles”

Album Review – Sarmat / RS-28 (2021)

Behold the debut album by this Polish brigade, offering us all a mixture of Death and Black Metal split into eight visceral tracks about destruction, military industry and human fears and obsessions.

3.5rating

sarmat-rs-28-2021Having their name taken from “The Weapon of Ultimate Destruction”, the Russian super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) RS-28 SARMAT (also known as SATAN 2), Poland’s own Black/Death Metal brigade Sarmat has just unleashed upon humanity their debut full-length opus, titled RS-28, a lesson in violence by Łukasz Kobusiński on vocals, Daniel Szymanowicz on guitars, bass, keyboards and VST instruments, and Krzysztof “Kopyś” Kopczeński also on the guitars, supported by session drummer Krzysztof Klingbein. Engineered, mixed and mastered at Santa Studio by Arkadiusz “Malta” Malczewski and displaying a sinister artwork by Lord K., RS-28 offers a mixture of Death and Black Metal split into eight visceral tracks about destruction, military industry and human fears and obsessions, being highly recommended for admirers of the savagery blasted by renowned bands like Sarmat’s countrymen Behemoth.

A Black Metal onrush will smash you like an insect from the very first second in Coldgrinder, with Daniel and Kopyś, accompanied by Krzysztof, hammer their sonic weapons mercilessly, all spiced up by Łukasz’s demonic, deep guttural roars. Then a beyond sulfurous intro morphs into sheer adrenaline and violence in Evilution, inviting us all to bang our heads in the name of evil, with Krzysztof once again showcasing his heavy artillery behind his drums while Łukasz keeps vociferating the song’s wicked words like a true beast (“Confronting with the evil-ution / Controlling the creature’s instinct / Ceremonial madness in psychotic eyes / The sentence for all cold life”); and the band explodes our senses with the infernal The Shining of Oneiros, a bestial display of Blackened Death Metal spearheaded by the inhumane growling by Łukasz. Then we have the title-track RS-28, darker and more doomed than its predecessors, with Daniel and Kopyś being on absolute fire with their axes delivering a malevolent riffage that lives up to the legacy of classic Death Metal.

Another grim, melancholic start quickly explodes into pulverizing Black and Death Metal in Seeds of Uncertainty, where Krzysztof proves once again why he was chosen as the session drummer for the album while Łukasz keeps growling to the wicked riffs by the band’s guitar duo; whereas the warlike lyrics darkly roared by Łukasz (“Revolt / You don’t live in my war / Pain makes me stronger everyday / Life is war, not illusion”) set the tone in the Doom Metal-infused tune You Don’t Live in My War, where the bass lines by Daniel sound utterly thunderous from start to finish. Following such demented tune we have Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part I, just as pulverizing as the rest of the album, bringing to our ears first-class Polish Blackened Death Metal where the sound of the guitars will pierce your minds without a single drop of mercy, flowing into the hellish and obscure Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part II, ending the album on a Stygian note to the devilish growls by Łukasz, always supported by the band’s unstoppable riffs and blast beats.

sarmat-2021Sarmat’s insane display of Blackened Death Metal can be better appreciated in full on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course in order to join their metallic brigade you should definitely purchase a copy of RS-28 from their own BandCamp page, from allegrolokalnie.pl, from Selfmadegodrecords, from Apple Music, from Amazon or from Discogs, and don’t forget to also follow such promising band on Facebook and on Instagram and to subscribe to their YouTube channel. Sarmat have certainly crafted their own “weapon of ultimate destruction” with RS-28, a kick-ass album that proves once again that the fusion of extreme music and war will always bring a positive outcome to us metalheads from all over the world.

Best moments of the album: Evilution, The Shining of Oneiros and Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part I.

Worst moments of the album: You Don’t Live in My War.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing 
1. Coldgrinder 3:19
2. Evilution 5:45
3. The Shining of Oneiros 4:11
4. RS-28 3:51
5. Seeds of Uncertainty 3:36
6. You Don’t Live in My War 5:38
7. Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part I 3:32
8. Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part II 3:41

Band members
Łukasz Kobusiński – vocals
Daniel Szymanowicz – guitars, bass, keyboards, VST instruments
Krzysztof “Kopyś” Kopczeński – guitars

Guest musician
Krzysztof Klingbein – drums (session)

Album Review – Unflesh / Inhumation (2021)

A lecture in Blackened and Melodic Death Metal made in the United States, delving into the concept of desensitization and losing one’s soul or humanity.

4.0rating

unflesh-inhumation-2021Showcasing an incredible amount of new growth from a group already brimming with abundant talent as is, Inhumation, the brand new opus by Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based three-piece Blackened Melodic Death Metal entity Unflesh, is not only the perfect follow-up to their 2018 album Savior, but also a bold statement by the band confirming they’re among us to stay. Mixed and Mastered by V. Santura at Woodshed Studios and featuring a killer artwork by Junki Sakuraba, Inhumation will show you why vocalist and guitarist Ryan Beevers (Solium Fatalis), bassist Orin Hubbard (Excrecor) and drummer Jeff Saltzman (Aversed, Allegaeon, Continuum, Solium Fatalis) have everything it takes to conquer the world of extreme music with their wicked creations. “Inhumation delves into the concept of desensitization and losing one’s soul or losing one’s humanity so to speak. The title itself is used in a metaphorical sense, as the actual definition of the word ‘Inhumation’ is the action or practice of burying the dead. For album purposes, the title is used on a more spiritual and emotional level. Each track on the album is a bit of a meditation on different aspects of the primary concept. When the listener gets to the last song on the album, the totality of the album will have taken form,” commented Ryan about the band’s newborn spawn.

The acoustic guitars by Ryan ignite the intro Behold Nightfall, gradually growing in intensity until all hell breaks loose in the devastating Vast Forest of Impaled Cadavers, where Ryan vociferates the song’s devilish words manically (“Spawned from scales of iron / Demonic icon of fear / Bathing in the draining blood / From the steel / Emotionless / Orchestrating blasphemies / Of hundreds and thousands / Their putrefaction is my crest”) accompanied by the crushing drums by Jeff. To Renounce Flesh and Blood is another demonic and very technical creation by Unflesh blending the fury of Death Metal with the obscurity of Black Metal, not to mention Orin’s bass jabs will make your head tremble, followed by the title-track Inhumation, bringing to your ears over seven minutes of breathtaking riffs and bass punches, intricate beats and all of the elements that make Technical Death Metal so compelling. In addition, Jeff sounds truly bestial behind his drum set, while Ryan keeps roaring like a demonic entity from start to finish.

Unflesh keep decimating our senses in the hellish extravaganza titled Amongst Horrors Must I Dwell, displaying an amazing job done by Ryan with his visceral Black Metal riffage and growling, therefore adding an extra touch of malignancy to the overall result, whereas putting the pedal to the metal the trio brings forward the explosive Blackened Death Metal tune Holocaust of Stars, where Orin and Jeff are on fire with their thunderous kitchen generating a reverberating ambience that will ruthlessly smash your cranial skull; and featuring a sick guitar solo by guest Jim Gregory (Solium Fatalis), The Sepulchral Depths is just as violent and sulfurous as its predecessors, offering us fans an ass-kicking portrait of the band’s trademark hybrid of Blackened and Melodic Death Metal. Not only that, Jeff is once again a stone crusher on drums, taking the lead with his blast beats and fills for our total delight. And last but not least, Unflesh bring forth nine minutes of sonic savagery, acoustic and atmospheric passages, enraged roars and endless obscurity in the form of Dehumanized Legion, where the trio is unstoppable and vile throughout the entire song, putting a beyond demolishing end to this precious gem of Extreme Metal.

unflesh-2021After all is said and done, I’m sure you’re more than eager to put your hands on Inhumation, which is by the way available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, and in order to do that simply go to the band’s own BandCamp page, to Apple Music or to Amazon, and don’t forget to also show your support to such promising act by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and by subscribing to their YouTube channel. Ryan and his henchmen Orin and Jeff did a superb job in Inhumation, beautifully translating into eight multi-layered, dense Blackened and Melodic Death Metal compositions exactly what Ryan mentioned as “the concept of desensitization and losing one’s soul or losing one’s humanity.” This is exactly how dark and extreme music should always sound, with the band’s new album being a strong contender to feature among the best albums of the year, consequently pointing to a brilliant future ahead of those multi-talented musicians.

Best moments of the album: Vast Forest of Impaled Cadavers, Inhumation and Holocaust of Stars.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. Behold Nightfall 2:21
2. Vast Forest of Impaled Cadavers 5:21
3. To Renounce Flesh and Blood 5:26
4. Inhumation 7:20
5. Amongst Horrors Must I Dwell 6:37
6. Holocaust of Stars 4:42
7. The Sepulchral Depths 5:27
8. Dehumanized Legion 9:01

Band members
Ryan Beevers – vocals, guitars, acoustic guitars, orchestrations
Orin Hubbard – bass
Jeff Saltzman – drums

Guest musician
Jim Gregory – guitar solo on “The Sepulchral Depths”

Album Review – Demon King / The Final Tyranny EP (2021)

This newly formed demonic trio aims to be one of the reigning champs of the Death Metal world with their fulminating and very technical debut EP.

Formed in 2019 in the city of Nashville, Tennessee, in the United States, Blackened Death Metal outfit Demon King is the comeback project of prominent original Enfold Darkness guitarist Matt Brown after stepping away from playing music for a number of years, now joined by technical wizards Malcolm Pugh (Inferi, A Loathing Requiem, Entheos) on bass and Jack Blackburn (Inferi, Enfold Darkness, Vital Remains) on drums. Together, this incredibly talented trio aims to be one of the reigning champs of the Death Metal world in the coming years, starting their path of devastation with their debut EP titled The Final Tyranny. Mixed by Zack Ohren at Castle Ultimate Productions, mastered by Justin Shturtz at Sterling Sound, and displaying an infernal artwork by renowned artist Justin Abraham, The Final Tyranny is strongly recommended for fans of Abigor, Arsis, Dimmu Borgir, Naglfar, Necrophagist and Old Man’s Child, among many others, providing the listener 17 minutes of undisputed dexterity, violence and rage.

We must admit Blackened Death Metal always brings us amazing, poetic lyrics, which is exactly the case in the opening track Tyrannical Reign of the Deceiver (“For ages the world did hold the coming of one / Which would usher in the era of din / And the chieftains they called upon disorder as order / Their ally for the clasp within / Multitudes surrender to him as their god”), while Jack sounds like a stone crusher from hell on drums and Malcolm hammers his metallic bass nonstop, resulting in an explosion of sounds that’s as technical and infernal as it can be. Then a sinister intro will darken the skies before the trio comes ripping with their hard-hittingTechnical Death Metal in Invoking the Spirit of Chaos, where Matt not only roars like a demonic entity, but his hellish riffage adds an extra touch of dementia to the music; and it’s time for more lunacy in the form of Technical and Blackened Death Metal in Transmutation of the Artilect, with Malcolm and Jack being absolutely thunderous and menacing with their beats and bass jabs while Matt continues to gnarl and scream rabidly in a perfect fusion of intricacy and heaviness. Lastly, even more obscure than its predecessors, The Watcher, Wreathed In Flame is a ruthless display of modern-day aggressiveness and fury, with the demonic drums by Jack being beautifully supported by the demented strings by both Matt and Malcolm, not to mention how piercing Matt’s guitar solos sound and feel.

This short and sweet display of unrelenting Blackened Death Metal by Demon King is available for purchase by clicking HERE, or from other retailers such as Amazon and Record Store Day. Also, don’t forget to follow those insane metallers on Facebook and on Instagram, and to stream their sick creations on Spotify, showing your utmost support to this newborn force of the extreme music scene. Across its four dense tracks, The Final Tyranny deftly combines and shifts on a dime between Technical Death Metal, Black Metal, and Melodic Death Metal in order to create a sound of their own, also pointing to a very interesting future ahead of the trio and, therefore, inspiring fans of Death Metal from all over the world to keep slamming into the circle pit while Matt, Malcolm and Jack show us exactly what to do when armed with their sharp instruments and their blackened hearts and souls.

Best moments of the album: Tyrannical Reign of the Deceiver and Transmutation of the Artilect.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 The Artisan Era Records

Track listing
1. Tyrannical Reign of the Deceiver 3:51
2. Invoking the Spirit of Chaos 4:16
3. Transmutation of the Artilect 4:31
4. The Watcher, Wreathed In Flame 5:04

Band members
Matt Brown – vocals, guitars
Malcolm Pugh – bass
Jack Blackburn – drums

Album Review – Booze Serpent / Slices Of Death (2021)

Turkey’s own Death Metal one-man army is ready to strike his venom once again through his first full-length opus, featuring nine original tracks of sick, alcohol-fueled terror.

Hailing from the dark pits of Antalya, a gateway to Turkey’s southern Mediterranean region, Death Metal one-man army Booze Serpent was formed back in 2019 by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Serpent as an ode to 1980’s horror B-movies and H.P. Lovecraft novels, having already released in 2020 the project’s five-track debut EP Drünkard. After less than one year, Serpent returns in full force with his first full-length effort, the sick, alcohol-fueled terror party entitled Slices Of Death, offering us fans a high dosage of old school Death Metal with no shenanigans nor any artificial elements. Mixed and mastered by Polish musician Mikołaj Krzaczek (Thamnos Records), displaying a classic artwork by Death Rattle, and featuring an array of guest musicians such as Cezary Borawski on drums and Burak Ulugüney (of Minus Life) on keys, Slices Of Death was recorded entirely live, with no drum machines nor midi used in the recordings, giving it a more organic, honest and, therefore, violent feel throughout its nine inebriate and visceral tracks of groovy death.

An ominous, atmospheric intro ignites Booze Serpent’s evil brewing machine, morphing into the venomous Dead Fak, where Serpent blends a high dosage of Black, Death and Thrash Metal in his infernal riffs and screams; whereas Turkey’s own one-man horde gets the support of guitarist Gavin Brooks with a sick solo in Man-Eating Plant, while Cezary keeps hammering his drums nonstop, leaning towards contemporary Blackened Death Metal. Then guest drummer Jeremiasz Baum (of The Materia) lends his violence to Booze Serpent in Motel Hell, another short and sweet homage to darkness and drinking where the deep gnarls by Serpent will haunt your soul during your sleep, also presenting the trademark futuristic keys by Burak. And Serpent keeps slashing his guitar and bass in the straight-to-the-point, headbanging tune They Live We Drink!, another heavy and unfriendly creation showcasing the most visceral elements from Black and Death Metal, featuring a guest guitar solo by Gavin Brooks.

Venturing through the realms of Deathslam and Brutal Death Metal, Serpent fires the sick and vile The Beast (Pumpkinhead), blasting sheer rage through his demented riffs and growls, and all spiced up of course by the pounding beats by Cezary. Then uniting the obscurity of Black Metal with the bloodthirsty sounds of Death Metal we’re treated to The Animal, showcasing a bestial guest guitar solo by Croc (of Axxen Conners), resulting in the perfect tune for cracking our necks headbanging to the sound of Serpent’s hellish roars, while guest drummer Charlie Nicholson (of Psychosexual) brings his share of dementia to the short and pulverizing Live Brains!, a tribute to zombie flicks from the 80’s where Serpent sounds even more demonic than before on vocals, not to mention his infernal bass jabs and cutting riffs. The epic and imposing keys by Burak make the final result even more Stygian in Resurrected In Chapman Labs, where the cryptic lyrics barked by Serpent are complemented by his own razor-edged guitars and low-tuned bass, flowing into the atmospheric outro Slices Of Death, where grim piano notes permeate the air in the best Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir-inspired style.

Dedicated to Serpent’s dearest friend Onur Soyulmaz, who sadly passed away in 2018, Slices Of Death is indeed a fantastic display of underground extreme music made in Turkey, bringing to our ears endless amounts of fury, electricity, heaviness and acidity, which obviously translates into awesomeness after all is sad and done. Hence, don’t forget to show your utmost support to such skillful Turkish metaller by following his project on Facebook and on Instagram, and of course by grabbing your sulfurous, alcohol-infused copy of Slices Of Death directly from Booze Serpent’s own BandCamp page, raising your glass high in the sky in the name of horror movies and Death Metal, and getting absolutely drunk to the sound of Serpent’s venomous compositions on a dark and bitterly cold winter night.

Best moments of the album: Man-Eating Plant, The Beast (Pumpkinhead) and Live Brains!

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Plague Demon Records

Track listing
1. Intro/Dead Fak 4:19
2. Man-Eating Plant 3:04
3. Motel Hell 2:58
4. They Live We Drink! 2:50
5. The Beast (Pumpkinhead) 2:16
6. The Animal 3:18
7. Live Brains! 2:14
8. Resurrected In Chapman Labs 3:00
9. Slices Of Death 2:28

Band members
Serpent – vocals, guitar, bass

Guest musicians
Burak Ulugüney – intro, keys
Gavin Brooks – lead guitar on “Man-Eating Plant” and “They Live We Drink!”
Croc – lead guitar on “The Animal”
Cezary Borawski – drums on “Intro/Dead Fak”, “Man-Eating Plant”, “They Live We Drink!”, “The Beast (Pumpkinhead)”, “The Animal” and “Resurrected In Chapman Labs”
Jeremiasz Baum – drums on “Motel Hell”
Charlie Nicholson – drums on “Live Brains!”

Album Review – Hell-Born / Natas Liah (2021)

After 12 years, one of Poland’s most devilish Black and Death Metal hordes returns with a brand new opus that darkly represents everything they have always been and more.

When some bands return from long years of silence, they unfortunately bring disappointment and a tarnishing of their reputation with them, while others bring a glorious shattering of the silence, a fulfilling of hopes and surpassing of expectations in mighty and imperious fashion, which is exactly the case with Sopot, Poland’s own Black/Death Metal veterans Hell-Born. Disciples of their devil’s work can rejoice, as these Polish masters of Black, Death and Thrash Metal have never sounded more accomplished and powerful than in their newborn opus Natas Liah, a towering edifice of darkness and extreme music brought into being by vocalist and bassist Baal Ravenlock (Behemoth’s co-founder), guitarist Les (also a former musician of Behemoth) and drummer Diabolizer over 12 years after the release of their previous effort Darkness. Recorded at Creme de la Creme Studio and mixed and mastered by Haldor Grunberg (known for his collaboration with Behemoth and Blaze Of Perdition) at Satanic Audio, Natas Liah is everything that Hell-Born have always been and more, being therefore highly recommended for fans of the devilish music blasted by Venom, Vader, Behemoth and Sodom, among many others.

A brief spoken intro explodes into a bestial feast of Black and Death Metal in When You Are God, where its solid instrumental pieces are spiced up by Baal’s deep guttural vocals. Put differently, it couldn’t have sounded rawer nor more devilish than what it already is, kicking off the album ruthlessly. Then even more infernal than the opening tune, Axis of Decay brings to our ears classic Black Metal infused with Death Metal elements, with Diabolizer sounding truly menacing with his blast beats accompanied by Les’ evil riffage, resulting in a song perfect for darkening our thoughts and souls for all eternity, followed by Ye Olde Woods Devil, presenting a mid-tempo, headbanging sonority masterfully crafted by the trio where the drums by Diabolizer and the bass punches by Baal will undoubtedly make your head tremble, sounding and feeling very rhythmic and at the same time primeval from start to finish. And featuring a guitar solo by guest Jacek Langowski (from Holy Smoke), Uroboros is another vicious devastation by Hell-Born showcasing Diabolizer’s spot-on drums and the always venomous riffs by Les, living up to the legacy of Polish extreme music.

After such bestial attack, guest Jacek “Jeff” Kubiak (from Damnation) provides a strident guitar solo in The Butcher, offering us all more of their incendiary fusion of Black, Death and Thrash Metal, with Baal sounding even more infuriated than before with his gruesome gnarls. Baal’s rumbling bass and Diabolizer’s pounding drums keep hammering our heads in Son of Earth, with Les bringing a humongous dosage of darkness to the music with his fiery guitar, and there’s no sign of slowing down for those Polish metallers as they keep darkening the skies with their furious music in In God’s Death, where the classic riffs by Les are boosted by the melodic but at the same time violent drumming by Diabolizer. Putting the pedal to the metal, the band explodes our senses with the Stygian and straightforward Soulrape, showcasing their usual dementia and obscurity led by the always demonic growling by Baal, before all hell breaks loose in the infernal closing tune Blakk Metal, featuring guest vocals by Behemoth’s one and only mastermind Adam “Nergal” Darski. Not only the background keys bring an additional touch of evil to the overall result, but Nergal’s trademark roars make it even more thrilling, turning it into what’s by far my favorite of all songs, or in other words, a lesson in modern-day Blackened Death Metal.

As already mentioned, Natas Liah might be Hell-Born’s most demolishing and obscure album in their solid career since the band’s inception in the distant year of 1996, proving some bands definitely know how to make an impactful and meaningful comeback form the pits of the underworld. Hence, don’t forget to follow those veterans from hell on Facebook, and to support them in their quest for extreme music by purchasing their sulfurous new album from their own BandCamp page or from the Odium Records’ webstore as a 6-panel digipack CD with a 16-page booklet or as a deluxe wooden box edition limited to 40 copies containing a vinyl version of the album, the 6-panel digipack CD with a 16-page booklet, a t-shirt, a patch, a button and a sticker. Having said all that, what are you waiting for to grab your copy of such insane album? Go for it, raise your horns and… HAIL SATAN!

Best moments of the album: Axis of Decay, The Butcher and Blakk Metal.

Worst moments of the album: Son of Earth.

Released in 2021 Odium Records

Track listing
1. When You Are God 4:59
2. Axis of Decay 4:50
3. Ye Olde Woods Devil 5:31
4. Uroboros 6:01
5. The Butcher 5:39
6. Son of Earth 4:52
7. In God’s Death 5:31
8. Soulrape 3:05
9. Blakk Metal 4:46

Band members
Baal Ravenlock – vocals, bass
Les – guitars
Diabolizer – drums

Guest musicians
Nergal – vocals on “Blakk Metal”
Jacek Langowski – lead guitars on “Uroboros”
Jeff – lead guitars on “The Butcher”

Album Review – The Machinist / I Am Void (2020)

An ambitious opus that runs a gamut of genres, featuring haunting synths and grinding guitarwork by a ruthless Blackened Industrial Metal outfit hailing from the UK.

“Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” – Dylan Thomas

Born earlier this year in the city of Manchester, UK from the ashes of a band named NekroDrako, Blackened/Industrial Death Metal outfit The Machinist has just released their debut full-length album, entitled I Am Void, an ambitious opus that runs a gamut of genres, featuring haunting synths and grinding guitarwork backed up by a psychotic twin vocal approach, being therefore highly recommended for fans of the music by Anaal Nathrakh, The Berzerker and Aboyrm, among others. Summoning all the terror of the eternal, inevitable night, the abyss that waits to swallow us, consuming our dreams, our arrogance and our misplaced certainty of our own importance, I Am Void will explode your senses with a fusion of blasting Black Metal and machine-driven Death Metal, dark visions and confrontational opposition born of absolute self-belief, showcasing all the sonic poison and devastating violence by Scott Walton on vocals, T and Kieran Mackinnon on the guitars, and John Thompson on synths, drum programming and vocals.

Wicked vociferations from the underworld suddenly explode into a demented fusion of Death and Industrial Metal in the opening track Extinction Event, where Scott is a beast on vocals while the synths and drum programming by John live up to the legacy of the genre, and continuing their path of devastation the quartet offers the also metallic and thunderous Skin Is Not Enough, sounding as if Deicide and Ministry had a bastard son, and with the pulverizing guitars by T and Kieran penetrating deep inside our skin mercilessly. Then putting the pedal to the metal they blast the insane The Sky Has Opened, with the infernal screams by Scott being nicely boosted by the crushing riffage and beats by his bandmates, resulting in an amazing option for breaking your neck headbanging nonstop; followed by Approach, a Rammstein-inspired interlude that sounds like taken from a horror flick, warming up the listener for the hard-hitting extravaganza Bleak Affirmations, where T and Kieran deliver a hybrid of Black and Death Metal through their fierce riffage while the atmospheric synths by John add a touch of dementia to the overall result.

Bringing forward elements from Technical Death Metal, Depopulate is as venomous as it can be, with both T and Kieran firing infernal sounds form their guitars while Scott roars and gnarls in a beyond devilish manner, whereas Death Cults Of Abraham offers the listener another round of their industrialized madness, this time with John’s programmed drums sounding as organic as a real drummer. Put differently, this is a phantasmagorical creation by The Machinist feeling doomed and grim from start to finish, while strident riffs and anguished growls are the main ingredients in the hammering onslaught titled Magnificent Desolation, perhaps the song with the strongest Industrial Metal roots, also presenting tons of progressiveness, rage, and endless breaks and variations throughout its unrelenting six minutes. After such insane metal attack, we’re treated to Departure, another utterly Stygian and futuristic Fear Factory-infused bridge that sets the stage for the band’s boldest and most detailed spawn entitled Schwarzschild Radius, starting as wicked as its predecessor while also offering our avid ears dark and metallic sounds, deep, beastly vocals and Doom Metal beats, feeling like a hybrid of Industrial Metal and Blackened Doom at times (not to mention John’s vampiric keys), flowing infernally until its gruesome and otherworldly finale.

If you think you have what it takes to face over 52 minutes of ruthless and vicious Blackened Industrial Metal brought forth by The Machinist in their debut album, you can stream such disturbing opus in its entirety on Spotify and purchase it from the band’s own BandCamp page, from Apple Music or from Amazon, and The Machinist are also waiting for you on Facebook and on Instagram to show you more of their amazing music, their plans for the future, tour dates and everything else surrounding such distinguished UK horde. As aforementioned, I Am Void is indeed a devastating barrage of sonic violence, as The Machinist are a poison that will elevate or destroy, which means you should simply hit play on their new album, immerse yourself in their harsh truths, and finally find the strength to evolve.

Best moments of the album: Extinction Event, The Sky Has Opened and Magnificent Desolation.

Worst moments of the album: Bleak Affirmations.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Extinction Event 6:39
2. Skin Is Not Enough 5:27
3. The Sky Has Opened 4:57
4. Approach 2:32
5. Bleak Affirmations 4:15
6. Depopulate 3:49
7. Death Cults Of Abraham 5:48
8. Magnificent Desolation 6:13
9. Departure 2:17
10. Schwarzschild Radius 10:34

Band members
Scott Walton – vocals
T – guitar
Kieran Mackinnon – guitar
John Thompson – synths, drum programming, vocals

Album Review – Walls of Hate / Wall of Hate EP (2020)

A one-man army from Honduras is ready to share his personal ideas and music influences with the world armed with his fulminating debut EP.

Founded earlier this year by sole member Rizalde Antonio Peralta (Dragon Eyes, Crathos) in San Pedro Sula, a city in the Sula Valley of northern Honduras, aiming at sharing his personal ideas and music influences with the world, Blackened Death Metal one-man army Walls of Hate began his infernal musical path in June with the release of his self-titled debut EP, offering fans of extreme music four original tracks that reek of darkness and devastation. Recorded at Alien Media Prods and mixed and mastered by Juan Ayestas (Acrocosm, Corpse Forest), who’s also featured on the album as a guest vocalist and lyricist, Walls of Hate is a very honest, organic and straight-to-the-point EP, being highly recommended for fans of the music by devilish giants the likes of Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir and Necronomicon, among several others.

In the opening track Involution we already face austere lyrics that couldn’t have been more in line with our harsh reality these days (“World leaders spreading disease across the skies / Hunt for those who reveal the secrets / Governments of the world like to annihilate / They enjoy our painful and slow deaths”), while musically speaking it’s a raw, dirty and no shenanigans display of classic Black and Death Metal by Antonio. Then in the fantastic Xerxes, imposing background sounds enhance the song’s malignancy considerably, with Antonio kicking ass with both his incendiary riffage and crushing beats while Juan barks and roars like a true demonic entity, resulting in top-notch Blackened Death Metal made in Honduras that will please all fans of the genre. And somber elements grow in intensity and are joined by Antonio’s razor-edged guitars in the phantasmagorical Bestiary, with Juan growling deeply and manically in a hybrid of old school Black and Death Metal where the infernal drums by Antonio dictate the song’s pulverizing pace, whereas more of his demented extreme music flows into our damned minds in the mid-tempo Death Metal feast Legions of Truth, showcasing a great work done by Antonio with both his scorching riffs and low-tuned bass.

In summary, despite being short in duration with a little less than 19 minutes of music in total, Walls of Hate is a kick-ass, venomous spawn of extreme music brought forth by a young and talented Honduran musician who loves Black and Death Metal from the bottom of his Stygian heart, and you can show your support to such skillful metaller by listening to the EP in full on YouTube and on Spotify, by following him on Facebook and on Instagram, and obviously by purchasing his debut EP from his own BandCamp page, from Apple Music or from Amazon. And by doing so we can all rest assured the walls of hate and Blackened Death Metal carefully raised by Antonio will remain strong and imposing for many years to come, proudly displaying the waving flag of Honduran metal high in the sky for all of us metalheads to admire.

Best moments of the album: Xerxes.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Involution 3:54
2. Xerxes 5:25
3. Bestiary 5:00
4. Legions of Truth 4:27

Band members
Rizalde Antonio Peralta – vocals, all instruments

Guest musician
Juan Ayestas – vocals on “Involution”, “Xerxes” and “Bestiary”

Album Review – Vampiric / Supernatural Tales (2020)

Phoenix, Arizona’s own lone wolf returns with more of his blood-soaked Symphonic Black and Thrash Metal in a tribute to darkness and the supernatural.

Arising from the depths of his lair less than one year after the release of his debut full-length album The Magic of the Night, the Phoenix, Arizona-based one-man army Nik Williams, the mastermind behind Symphonic Black/Thrash Metal entity Vampiric, is back with more of his blood-soaked, dark and captivating music in his brand new opus entitled Supernatural Tales, bringing to our ears more of his fusion of extreme and symphonic sounds while singing about vampires, wolves and other creatures of the night. Not only that, Nik once again did everything by himself, including all music, lyrics, artwork and so on, proving how passionate he is about heavy music and vampirism, and how his undeniable talent allows him to unite those two distinct topics into a collection of dynamic and obscure compositions.

Phantasmagorical synths and a stench of blood permeate the air in the opening track Endless Night, where Nik generates a bold atmosphere with all instruments, also firing both harsh growls and cryptic clean vocals and uniting Black and Thrash Metal in the name of darkness. In Bloodthirst we’re treated to sheer brutality, with Nik barking the song’s vampiric lyrics manically (“Do you hear it? / Does it not sound like the shadows calling your name? / At midnight’s strike, piercing the dark / Calling to you as if in dream / His presence made known / His shadow crawls across the wall”) while the music brings a fusion of Second-Wave Black Metal with classic Bay Area Thrash, all spiced up by its background keys; and blasting a more straightforward and rockin’ sonority, Nik offers us all the dark and dancing tune The Wolves Of Winter, showcasing slashing riffs and massive beats and bass punches, being tailored for admirers of Gothic Rock and Metal from the 80’s and 90’s with a more venomous twist. Then Nik continues to blast his drums and extract sheer malignancy from his guitar, resulting in a hybrid of Blackened Death Metal and Symphonic Black Metal entitled Heart Of Fire, where our lone wolf sings about how fear sometimes controls our lives (“Rise from the fire whose flames burn you not / Become the fire / It matters not the fear that lives inside of your heart / But how you go forth and face that fear / Times of turmoil beget times of peace”).

Melodic guitars ignite the also frantic and obscure The Embrace Of The Vampire, with Nik growling and gnarling while at the same time generating a truly wicked ambience with his Phantom of the Opera-inspired keys, also presenting some elements found in the music by the almighty Cradle Of Filth, whereas an exciting ride through the lands of Rock N’ Roll, Black Metal and symphonic music is condensed into the multi-layered The Darkness Reborn, where Nik does a superb job with all instruments, in special with his demonic riffage and vicious roars. A Descent Into Madness is a visceral, in-your-face Extreme Metal tune where the bass sounds are absolutely metallic and thunderous, making a solid paradox with all the ethereal keys in the background, while Fall From The Sky leans towards the rawer musicality from his 2019 album, also bringing forward a spot-on balance between aggressiveness and melody while the drums sound as Black Metal as they can be. It’s a bit lengthy, though, despite all of its breaks and variations, but nothing to worry about, before the cinematic outro The Dawn Is No More puts a melancholic and at the same time epic conclusion to this bloodthirsty album.

Not only Supernatural Tales represents a healthy and interesting step forward in the career of Nik Williams and his Vampiric, but it’s also a solid statement that Nik is an unstoppable force of the underground, always working on new material and always eager to release original music to fans of that more extreme side of metal, having released so far two excellent albums in less than one year, and I’m not even counting his debut EP Death Tore Through, also released in 2019. Hence, you can show your support to such up-and-coming, hardworking artist by following him on Facebook, by subscribing to his official YouTube channel, and obviously by purchasing Supernatural Tales sooner than you can expect from his own BandCamp page (where you can by the way take a listen at a couple of his new songs already, as well as his previous releases). In a nutshell, in praising darkness and the supernatural with his new album, Nik is also carving his name in the metal underworld, leaving us eager for more of his vampiric tales and extreme sounds until the end of days.

Best moments of the album: Bloodthirst, The Wolves Of Winter and The Darkness Reborn.

Worst moments of the album: Fall From The Sky.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Endless Night 5:28
2. Bloodthirst 2:50
3. The Wolves Of Winter 5:40
4. Heart Of Fire 4:51
5. The Embrace Of The Vampire 5:31
6. The Darkness Reborn 3:36
7. A Descent Into Madness 3:20
8. Fall From The Sky 6:22
9. The Dawn Is No More (Outro) 2:31

Band members
Nik Williams – vocals, all instruments

Album Review – Kult Mogił / Torn Away the Remains of Dasein (2020)

An unrelenting Polish entity returns with their sophomore full-length opus, presenting a new sound directed towards classic Death Metal from the 90’s.

Almost three years after the release of the EP Portentaque, Tarnów, Lesser Poland-based Blackened Death Metal entity Kult Mogił is back from the pits of the underworld with a brand new full-length album entitled Torn Away the Remains of Dasein, presenting to the listener a new line-up and, more important than that, a new energy and sound directed towards a more classic Death Metal style from the 90’s when compared to their debut full-length opus Anxiety Never Descending. Mixed and mastered at Satanic Audio by Haldor Grunberg and featuring a stylish cover artwork by Polish artist Sars (Gruzja, Odraza), Torn Away the Remains of Dasein reeks of pure violence from start to finish, showcasing all the talent and passion for extreme music by lead singer and bassist Deimos, guitarists Rzulty and Thisworld Outof, and drummer The Rays. “Instead of following trends of fashionable playing, we’re heading in the opposite direction, going back to the roots of death metal even more than before. This is our most essential recording, devoid of layers of sludge and other popular additions from previous releases. We want the new songs, stripped of these ornaments, to defend themselves with strong, load-bearing riffs. This album is 100% devoid of the desire to be avant-garde or experimental. We are destroying the previously developed formula so that we can on its ruins pay homage to the classics of the genre,” commented the band about their vicious new album.

And the opening track Hunger of Pride is the perfect depiction of this new version of Kult Mogił, sounding and feeling absolutely ominous, disruptive and violent from the very first second, with Rzulty and Thisworld Outof showing no mercy for our souls with their infernal riffage while Deimos roars and growls rabidly, resulting in a putrid Death Metal feast infused with Black Metal nuances. Then wicked sounds ignite another awesome display of brutality titled White.Death.Implosion, where The Rays sounds vile and demented on drums by blasting sheer havoc through his beats, therefore providing his bandmates all they need to shine with their venomous growls and sick riffs and solos, and not giving us a single second to breathe, the quartet fires the also hellish Blackened Death Metal tune Torment of Dasein, bringing to our ears pure savagery flowing from all instruments, with Deimos doing a fantastic job with both his guttural vocals and his menacing bass punches. In Idols in Blood we’re treated to an austere onrush of Black and Death Metal sounds spearheaded by the rhythmic and groovy beats by The Rays, while Rzulty and Thisworld Outof don’t stop extracting razor-edged riffs from their axes, reminding me of the total darkness of the early days of their countrymen Behemoth, whereas in A Wax Reverie the band adds hints of Doom Metal to their already otherworldly sonority, smashing our skulls once again and blending the gore of bands like Cannibal Corpse and Six Feet Under with their own share of dementia. And lastly, the rumbling bass by Deimos ignites the closing tune Fountain of Affliction, where the band’s guitar duo fires an endless amount of sulfur and rage from their stringed weapons while The Rays sounds like a bulldozer on drums, ending the album on an utterly obscure and aggressive note.

In case you’re not familiar with the music by Kult Mogił, I highly recommended you go take a good listen at their previous releases before listening to Torn Away the Remains of Dasein in full on YouTube to have a clear understanding of the musical evolution explained by the band until reaching their current shape and form, showing that the adjustments they made to their sound were more than welcome and spot-on, therefore pointing to a bright future to such obscure unity hailing from Poland. In addition, don’t forget to give the guys from Kult Mogił a shout on Facebook, and to grab your copy of Torn Away the Remains of Dasein from the Pagan Records’ BandCamp page or from their webstore in CD, black LP or red LP formats. After such pulverizing album, I wonder if Kult Mogił will continue to venture through even more classic Death Metal lands, if they’ll succumb to the darker side of Black and Doom Metal, or if they’ll simply merge all of their influences and all those styles into something new and fresh. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t matter what the final result is, as long as they keep bringing forth amazing records like Torn Away the Remains of Dasein we can rest assured the underground Polish scene will remain alive, vibrant and as brutal as it can be.

Best moments of the album: White.Death.Implosion and Idols in Blood.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Pagan Records

Track listing
1. Hunger of Pride 5:43
2. White.Death.Implosion 4:57
3. Torment of Dasein 6:33
4. Idols in Blood 4:38
5. A Wax Reverie 6:24
6. Fountain of Affliction 5:37

Band members
Deimos – vocals, bass
Rzulty – guitars
Thisworld Outof – guitars
The Rays – drums